Toronto (Feb. 12, 2007) - The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation will honour three visionary scientists, whose work in innovative imaging techniques is turning cancer surgeons into "sharpshooters," on Feb. 15, 2007 at the Four Seasons Hotel, Toronto.

The gala is a tribute to Drs. Jonathan Irish, Chief of the Department of Surgical Oncology at Princess Margaret Hospital, David Jaffray, Head of Radiation Physics and Chair, Orey and Mary Fidani Family in Radiation Physics at Princess Margaret Hospital, and Walter Kucharczyk, Director, Magnetic Resonance Imaging at University Health Network (UHN), and Chair of the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto for their groundbreaking research in image-guided therapeutics, dubbed "GTx."

"As a cancer surgeon and as someone who has seen this technology at work, I can honestly say it's remarkable. Image-guided surgery will save lives," said Dr. Irish. "GTx" at UHN integrates imaging technologies to provide a kind of GPS for cancer surgeons -- where surgical tools, and the surgical target and surrounding anatomy are visualized precisely in "real time" three-dimensional images. The surgeon can accurately pinpoint cancer cells and tumours and then remove them without harming the surrounding structures or healthy tissue. Patients will benefit from faster recovery times and enhanced quality of life during and after treatment."

"Advanced diagnostic imaging methods and image-guided therapeutics are two of the most far-reaching breakthroughs in medical technology in our lifetime," said Dr. Kucharczyk. "Imaging technologies give us an inside view of complex tissues and structures like never before. It's vastly improved how we see, understand, and treat disease."

Gala guests will hear a panel interview with Drs. Irish, Jaffray, and Kucharczyk moderated by Valerie Pringle, one of Canada's best known and most respected broadcasters, to learn more about the history, advancements and future of GTx in providing world-leading cancer treatment.

"We are just at the tip of the iceberg. Image-guided therapeutics is the future in the fight against cancer," said Jaffray. "Adapting imaging technology to the OR will radically change surgery and ultimately save lives."

Event proceeds will accelerate these innovations into clinical use and continue to advance the innovative research under way. The goal is to have an image-guided operating room and image-guided therapy research lab in place by the end of this year.

The GTx program has components at all three hospitals at UHN (Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Western Hospital), and is an instrumental part of cancer, cardiac, and neuroscience patient care. The Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation at University Health Network raises funds for research, education and the enhancement of patient care at Canada's leading cancer research hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital and its research arm, the Ontario Cancer Institute. For more information, please visit us at www.thepmcf.ca.

Media Contact

Phone: 416 340 4636
Email: UHN.News@uhn.ca

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